A few years ago, “zoom-zoom” referred to a Mazda car commercial. Today people are more likely to think of an online screen filled with small squares of virtual people holding a meeting. In the Anglican Church of Canada, this is especially true for all of the bishops and the Primate!
Prior to the imposed isolation, my calendar was filled with travel to different parts of Canada to share in parish and diocesan celebrations, present the Award of Merit to last year’s recipients, and meet with diocesan leaders, clergy and parishioners to talk about their mission and ministry. Suddenly I was confined to home in London, Ont., with my cat, feeling disconnected and unsure what I could and should do now.
Over these past weeks a new rhythm of life and ministry has emerged—and with it, reflections on what the future might hold. First, many activities prior to COVID-19 have been transformed into virtual meeting opportunities. Church House staff meet regularly online to continue the work General Synod is called to fulfill. This even includes a weekly coffee break to stay in touch with one another in our relationships and share coping strategies. It is good to see and hear colleagues, though it can be mentally exhausting to engage online for hours every day. We are learning to pace meetings, provide breaks and even have online breakout groups for discussion. Our technological learning curve is steep, but new skills are being mastered!